Men's Update: 5 Things About Taylor Sander

By B.J. Hoeptner Evans (bj.evans@usav.org) | Jan. 21, 2016, 9:06 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Jan. 21, 2016) – U.S. outside hitter Taylor Sander is playing in Italy this winter for Calzedonia (BluVolley) Verona. The team is in fourth place in the league.

Here are five things you might not know about Taylor Sander:

  1. At 6-foot-4, he is one of the shortest players on the U.S. Men’s Team. But he finished third among U.S. players and 16th overall in the 2015 FIVB World Cup with 14 blocks for an average of .38 per set.
  2. Taylor married Rachel McQuivey in 2015. She was a track and field athlete at BYU.
  3. As a member of the U.S. Junior National Team, Taylor led the team in kills in every match at the 2011 FIVB U21 World Championship as the U.S. finished fourth.
  4. Taylor grew up in Huntington Beach, Calif., and enjoy surfing. He used some of the money he won when he was named MVP of the 2014 FIVB World League to buy a new surfboard.
  5. Taylor played beach volleyball and won every junior beach tournament with partner John Caroompas from 14-18 years old.

ITALY

In Cup of Italy matches played on Jan. 14, Aaron Russell and Sir Safety Perugia defeated Sander and Verona, 25-15, 25-20, 19-25, 25-10. Russell scored 16 points for Perugia on 12 kills, two blocks and two aces. He was credited with 25 receptions, 56 percent positive. Sander led Verona with 15 points on 12 kills and three blocks. He was credited with 25 receptions, 64 percent positive.

In another Cup of Italy quarterfinal match, setter Micah Christenson and Cucine Lube Banca Marche Civitanova beat Ninfa Latina, 25-17, 25-23, 25-19 on Jan. 14. Christenson started the first two sets and scored six points on three blocks and three aces.

Christenson and Civitanova won their first regular season match on Jan. 17, beating LPR Piacenza, 22-25, 25-23, 25-22, 25-17. Christenson scored three points on two kills and one ace and set his team to a .490 hitting efficiency.

In regular season matches, Perugia beat Revivre Milano, 25-21, 25-17, 25-17. Russell scored 12 points on eight kills, one block and three aces. He was credited with 23 receptions, 26 percent positive.

Sander and Verona fell to DHL Modena, 25-19, 21-25, 21-25, 25-18, 18-16 on Jan. 17. Sander led all scorers with 23 points on 16 kills, two blocks and a match-high five aces. He was credited with 26 receptions, 62 percent positive.

POLAND

Opposite Murphy Troy led all scorers with 19 points, but outside hitter Thomas Jaeschke and Asseco Resovia Rzeszów beat Troy and Lotos Trefl Gdansk, 25-22, 28-26, 25-20 on Jan. 16. Troy scored on 18 kills and one ace. Jaeschke had 12 points on nine kills and three blocks.

FRANCE

On Jan. 16, middle blocker David Smith and Tours beat Beauvais, 27-25, 27-29, 25-17, 25-22. Smith scored six points on two kills and a match-high four blocks.

Libero Dustin Watten and Nancy beat Narbonne, 27-25, 20-25, 25-27, 28-26, 15-12 on Jan. 16. Watten was credited with 30 receptions, 87 percent positive.

RUSSIA

Matt Anderson, who plays outside hitter for Zenit Kazan, scored 10 points on 10 kills as Kazan beat Dinamo Krasnodar, 25-18, 25-13, 25-21 on Jan. 16.

Middle blocker Max Holt and Dinamo Moscow beat Gubernyia Nizhniy Novgorod, 25-22, 25-19, 25-19 on Jan. 16. Holt scored eight points on five kills and three blocks.

GERMANY

The Berlin Recycling Volleys, including libero Erik Shoji and outside hitter Paul Lotman, defeated VSG Coburg/Grub, including middle blocker Dylan Davis, 25-23, 18-25, 25-18, 25-21 on Jan. 16. Lotman scored 11 points on seven kills, three blocks and one ace. He was credited with 17 receptions, 41 percent positive. Shoji was credited with 11 receptions, 91 percent positive. Davis scored seven points on seven kills.

Middle blocker Scott Kevorken and SVG Lüneburg defeated setter Graham McIlvaine and TV Ingersoll Bühl, 25-15, 29-27, 25-22. Kevorken scored four points on three kills and one ace. McIlvaine scored two points on two kills and set his team to a .355 hitting efficiency.

TURKEY

Setter Kawika Shoji and Arkas Spor defeated defeated Belediye Plevne, 25-22, 25-20, 21-25, 25-19 on Jan. 17. Shoji scored six points on two kills, one block and three aces. He set his team to a .510 hitting efficiency.

CEV CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Romania’s Tomis Constanta has withdrawn from the Champions League, which means that Poland’s Asseco Resovia Rzeszow, including Thomas Jaeschke and Russell Holmes, won its match on Jan. 20 by default. Rzeszow is 5-0 in Pool G.

Matt Anderson and Russia’s Zenit Kazan are also 5-0 in Pool D. On Jan. 21, Kazan defeated Montenegro’s Budvanska Rivijera Budva, 25-17, 25-16, 25-17. Anderson scored 16 points on a match-high 14 kills, one block and one ace. He was credited with 18 receptions, 56 percent positive.

In Pool A, setter Kawika Shoji and Arkas Izmir improved to 4-1 with a 25-15, 25-19, 25-16 on Jan. 20. Shoji scored four points on four blocks and set his team to a .379 hitting efficiency.

In Pool B, Dinamo Moscow and middle blocker Max Holt improved to 4-1 with a 25-15, 25-23, 26-24 win over Paris Volley on Jan. 20. Holt scored seven points on three kills and four blocks.

Middle blocker David Smith and the French team Tours improved to 4-1 in Pool C with a 25-22, 25-15, 25-15 victory on Jan. 20 over Belgium’s Noliko Maaseik. Smith scored six points on five kills and one block.

Opposite Murphy Troy and his Polish team Lotos Trefl Gdansk improved to 4-1 in Pool F, with a 25-22, 21-25, 26-24, 22-25, 15-13 over Italy’s DHL Modena on Jan. 21. Troy led all scorers with 29 points on 26 kills, one block and two aces.

Germany’s Berlin Recycing Volleys, including libero Erik Shoji and outside hitter Paul Lotman, fell to 2-3 in Pool A with a 25-23, 17-25, 27-25, 25-17 loss to Russia’s Belogorie Belgorod. Lotman scored 15 points on 13 kills and two blocks. He was credited with 20 receptions, 50 percent positive. Shoji was credited with 18 receptions, 78 percent positive.

CEV CUP

Outside hitter Aaron Russell and Italy’s Sir Safety Perugia won their first quarterfinal match of the CEV Cup, 25-23, 25-21, 24-26, 25-15 over Germany’s SWD powervolleys Duren. Russell scored 14 points on 13 kills and one block. Setter Matt West was on Duren’s roster but did not play.

CHALLENGE CUP

Istanbul BBSK with opposite Will Price won its first match of the second round of the CEV Challenge Cup, 25-18, 23-25, 25-21, 25-22 over Benefica Lisboa of Portugal on Jan. 20. Price scored nine points on six kills, two blocks and one ace.